Next week it would have been my dad’s 93rd birthday so I am going to share some photos with you of a place he spent a lot of Sunday’s while I was growing up.
Some people go to church on a Sunday. Some people play spots, Some people have brunch – though I don’t think ‘brunch’ was a thing when I was growing up. It was just a late breakfast or early lunch.
But when I was a kid, pretty much every Sunday (that I can recall) my dad would don his crisp white overalls, jump in his car and head off to Lyttelton Harbour.
My dad in his Sunday best
He was going to The Tug.
‘The Tug’, also known as the Tug Lyttelton, was my dad’s home away from home – along with the Masonic Lodge, volunteering at Porritt Park when hockey was in season and the various other volunteer posts he had (including a police kiosk and training senior folk to use the computer) .. my dad was definitely not a retiring retiree that is for sure.
But I think The Tug was one of his biggest passions and he was involved with the association for as long as he was able.
Photo of my dad on the Lyttelton from a news article about the Tug in 2003 (yes, yes he does look like Santa!)
My dad was an Engineer in the New Zealand Navy and spent a lot of time in the boiler room of ships, so I guess it was no surprise that he liked to spend time out on Lyttelton Harbour on Sunday with a tug full of people.
I remember going out on The Tug a couple of times but Lyttelton Harbour can get very choppy and Sarah can get very sea sick. Now, of course, I wish I had gone with my dad more. But you can’t change the past, as much as you want to.
A few years ago I decided to go around Christchurch and take photos of my childhood memories.
- I went to Avon Park where my best friend’s dad was caretaker and her & I would spend hours and hours playing on the swings & slide. All of them except the roundabout – I hated that roundabout so much! I use to get so dizzy from it. They still have the roundabout of doom along with the giant slide that still seems so high.
- I went to Woodham Park where we would go for family picnics. They had a swimming pool and a bird aviary – both of which are still there. I use to think the swimming pool was so big! It’s amazing to think that after all these years, Woodham Park still has the same scary looking seesaws.
- I went to the Church of the Nazarene where I spent the majority of my childhood. I saw the creek that the kids use to jump over after Sunday services. I honestly don’t think I could do that now. The tree that use to serve as a back drop for weddings is still there. I went to a lot of weddings in that church, including my sisters & one of my brothers.
- I went to the dairy my sister use to send my niece and I to, to get her smokes. Ah those were the days when pre-teens could just walk into a shop and buy cigarettes.
- I went to New Brighton Beach and took photos of the beach side swimming pool with its whale in the middle that all the kids would climb on top of.. all the kids except me. I could never get on top of the whale – it’s still hurts to this day.
- I went to the schools I attended in Christchurch. Remembering singing The Green Door in the primary school assembly, in a hall that is no longer there. Remembering walking home from my intermediate school with my best friend at the time after home economics one day and not liking the pie I baked so ‘posted’ it in someone’s letter box (sorry!). Remembering high school and feeling tough because I went to Aranui High – I really am not tough in any way but I like to think I am 😀
- I went to the Canterbury Museum – one of my most favourite places in the whole world. I still go back there if I have a chance when I’m visiting mum. I love the building, I love the displays – some of which have not changed since I was a kid but I think that’s what I love about it.
- I went to my childhood home. Not that it was there any longer thanks to the earthquakes. At the time I went on the childhood quest in 2013, the area was pretty derelict, in an actually gorgeous kind of way nature wise. Everything was overgrown. There were bees & butterflies flying around. It was actually kind of nice, sad but nice.
But I also drove over to Lyttelton, though the tunnel into the harbour town and I went to take photos of The Tug. I didn’t actually mean to, if I’m honest but I guess I was on auto pilot and that’s where I ended up.
They still do sailings on a Sunday through the summer months, not bad for a boat built in 1907. One day when I’m home and it all works out, I’d actually like to go on one of the sailings. I like to do things that I would have done with dad if I had been more proactive.
I think he would like it, as much as he would protest that he would like going places with me. I like to think that secretly he has enjoyed the adventures we’ve had since he passed away – haha that sounds a lot weirder that it is meant to.
So I went over and I took photos of The Tug.. lots of photos. The bonus is that it was an absolute corker of a day so she looks stunning in the photos! So after all that spiel and without further adieu.. please enjoy this small part of #myhistory.